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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tanzania: FAQs

Mark and I have been asked a lot of questions about our trip to Tanzania, some of which have come up so frequently I thought I'd write up the answers here. Many of them included blood and mayhem (I'm starting to wonder about our choice of friends) but most of them were about the practicalities of traveling in a foreign country with only a rented vehicle as a home.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Canyonlands National Park: The White Rim Road

That lighter red stripe at the edge of the cliff on the left side of the photo? That's the road. If you think it looks like you could easily drive right off the edge, you'd be right.
The sweat on my palms mixed with the red dust on the armrest, creating an unappealing paste in the crevices of my hands. I wiped them on my shorts as we peered over the hood of the truck at the latest section of switchbacks. The (barely) one lane road began with a pavement of loose rocks, led down under an enormous overhanging boulder, then disappeared around a corner, all at a downward 45 degree angle. Mark had a grim look on his face as he put the truck into 4x4 low and shifted to the lowest gear the Ford has.

I guess we're gonna do this.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Carrizo Plain National Monument: Raw California

As a fourth generation California native, I've been known to get cranky about the ever increasing population I'm forced to share my state with. Currently there are 38.8 million people here, crowding the roads, booking campsites in Yosemite and lining up ahead of me at my favorite taqueria. Don't get me wrong; for the most part, I'm proud of my state and can see why everyone wants to live here. But every time an empty field gets plowed up to build yet another set of ugly apartment buildings it really puts my teeth on edge.

If you've read any of my previous blog entries it should come as no surprise I love big empty spaces. If I'm to be expected to work indoors full time I need to be allowed to stand outside at least four weeks a year staring at open land, breathing real air uninterrupted by phones, computers, traffic and crowds. Over the years it seems we have to go farther afield in order to do this. It's frustrating because the longer it takes to get there equates to less time staring and breathing.